A new luxury 4×4 benchmark

Land Rover has rewritten the rulebook for the luxury 4×4 segment with the unveiling of the exclusive Range Rover Autobiography at the 2008 Johannesburg International Motor Show.

The Range Rover is already regarded as the most complete and capable luxury 4×4 in the world – and the Autobiography symbolises the absolute pinnacle of quality, style and sophistication.

“Autobiography is the definitive demonstration of luxury for the Range Rover,” says Andrew Daniel, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa.

Land Rover Johannesburg Auto Show 2008

“It represents a special combination of taste and style, and enhances the individuality of the Range Rover with unique colour combinations, an exclusive choice of leather and classy wood trim.”

Opulence without equal

As expected of this premier execution of the Range Rover, the standard of opulence is without equal, and the Autobiography sports more leather upholstery than any previous Range Rover.

Setting an exceptionally sumptuous tone for the cabin, full semi-aniline leather has been chosen for the interior trim. Selected from the very best hides, this leather undergoes a minimum of processing, and displays unique, individual surface grains that increase in character with age.

The fascia, door casing, door bins, front and rear seats (which are heated and cooled) and centre console are all finished in this upmarket leather, complementing the traditional Ash Burl 14-piece interior wood panels.

Additionally, the multi-function heated steering wheel is leather-wrapped and the leather-trimmed facia has a softer, more luxurious feel. Even the floor mats are edge-bound with leather.

Sports accelerator and brake pedals increase the personalised appeal, while comfort and refinement is taken to new levels with additional acoustic cabin glass that further reduces road and wind noise, and increases security.

Exclusive styling

Externally, the exclusivity of the Range Rover Autobiography is defined by an elite range of colour options, as well as a striking set of 20-inch diamond-turned alloy wheels in a twin seven-spoke design.

This is matched by several unique detail touches, including brushed tread plates with Autobiography inserts, privacy glass for the rear windows, and Autobiography badging.

In its ultimate execution, the Autobiography builds on the established and exceptional talents of the range-topping Range Rover – particularly matched to the remarkable 4,2-litre supercharged V8 engine that produces a storming 291 kW of power and 560 Nm of torque.

Land Rover Johannesburg Car Show 2008

Muscular drivetrains

The Autobiography is also available in conjunction with Range Rover’s two other drivetrains. The superb 3,6-litre TDV8 turbodiesel delivers 200 kW of maximum power and a massive 640 Nm of torque, while the normally aspirated 4,4-litre V8 petrol is good for 210 kW and 440 Nm.

This Range Rover’ peerless on and off-road performance is in a class of its own, due to its advanced arsenal of high-tech features, including the likes of Land Rover’s praised Terrain Response and Hill Descent Control systems.

Allied to the variable-height independent air suspension, the calibre of the Range Rover’s ride refinement on the road sets the benchmark in this category, while the extent of its capability off the beaten track is simply breathtaking.

Extensive features list

In keeping with its premium status, the Range Rover Autobiography customer is left wanting for nothing.

The standard specification is out of the top drawer and includes a combined navigation and television system, voice input and recognition, a Harman Kardon Logic 7 14-speaker surround sound audio system, a heated multi-function leather steering wheel, as well as a rear -view camera and the nifty Venture Cam.

Furthermore, the rear-seat occupants are entertained with an integrated entertainment package encompassing two headrest-mounted 6,5-inch screens, a six-disc DVD auto-changer, infrared remote control and wireless headphones.

Comprehensive safety

The comprehensive safety package is no less impressive, incorporating Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Traction Control, ABS brakes with EBD and EBA and Cornering Brake Control.

These systems are complemented by a full array of driver and front passenger airbags, front side airbags and curtain airbags front and rear. A tyre pressure monitoring system is also included, as are adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights.

In short, the Range Rover Autobiography is luxury without equal.

The Autobiography introduces a new pinnacle for this segment, but the rest of the Range Rover line-up for 2009 also benefits from new seat styles, additional leather options and wheel designs, as well as revised exterior colour choices.